When God Doesn't Show Up - Your Daily Forward Devotional

When God Doesn't Show Up

Published 2/12/20

Read John 11:21-22

"Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.'"


Have you ever felt that God just wasn't showing up--no matter how often you prayed? How did you react? (Please explain.)

For days Martha had labored over her brother's sickbed, wringing her hands in worry and watching at the window. Surely Jesus got the message. Nothing could prevent Him from coming. But their beloved Teacher didn't show up. And nothing they did seemed to help. No amount of hot chicken soup or medicinal herbs revived Lazarus.

Finally, the two sisters watched as the color drained from their brother's face and his life dissipated before their eyes, his body growing cold and stiff. Martha and Mary collapsed in a flood of tears. Added to their grief were the painful questions, "Why didn't our friend Jesus come? This would have all been different if He'd been here! It would only have taken a word, a touch, and Lazarus would have recovered. Didn't He care enough to walk the two miles from Jerusalem to help us?"

The sisters didn't have the big picture. They didn't know that when Jesus got the message, He said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this" (John 11:4 NLT).

When Jesus finally headed for Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. Martha raced out to meet Him while her sister stayed at home weeping. As usual, Martha didn't mince words. Some might say she was bold or arrogant to approach the Savior, but I have to say a few words in this woman's behalf.

First, she asked. She didn't hesitate to send an S.O.S. message to Jesus telling Him she needed His help.

Second, she was honest. When He didn't come in time, she candidly declared, "Master, if you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you" (John 11:21-22 MSG).

Martha didn't yet know that the One standing before her had the power to raise her brother from the dead. Just as most of those who walked and talked with Christ, she didn't fully understand who He was. Yet she had an irrepressible faith and confidence in her Lord. She didn't run from Him when devastated over the loss of her brother--she ran toward Him. In fact, she caught up with Him on the road before He even entered the village.


Lord Jesus, help me to trust that You always show up--even when I can't sense Your presence. Help me to draw close to You during times of trouble. Amen.

We look forward to your comments and questions in these devotionals!

If you want to share this Daily Devotional with friends and family, here is the link:
  • Follow & Post
  • Post as Guest
  • Login
a year ago
How can GOD get upset with us when we stumble on our faith? When I cry out to GOD every day and feel no presence. I go to GOD every day for strength and peace. But I feel nothing. I would rather GOD not hear me and do nothing than hear me and do nothing. I feel like GOD is watching me drown and screaming. And he just watches me go down and up. Down and up over and over. So finally I reach for something else to save me. And GOD gets mad at me. If my only grandchild Brooklyn cried out for me. I would be there before she even finished crying. She wouldn't have to do some ritual for me to act. My love for Brooklyn would over ride anything. He makes it so hard to love Him. How are we to love GOD more than my granddaughter when he does things to me I would never do to my granddaughter.
2 replies
a year ago
Please don t despair , I feel your pain. God loves us unconditionally, despite the circumstances even if we don t understand. He loves your grandchild more than you can know or think and He loves you! Just keep calling on Him with a humble heart and He will show You “great and mighty things”. I m praying for you
a year ago
Its so hard to understand our Father sometimes, and I have had these very same thoughts, but as I think about that, i recall the scriture,(Gods ways are not our ways.) It may not take away your question. But it truely helps me to know my Father does love me more than i love my own grandchildren and as long as I keep my relationship on going by being in his word and not forsaking the assembling of the church family and talking to my Father everyday though my savour Jesus then i know there is a reason i dont think he is listening. If your a child of the king and you have no besetting sin that hasnt been confessed then if all this is so then please know the Father hears and working something for his Glory and for your growth.
a year ago
Martha didn't yet know that the One standing before her had the power to raise her brother from the dead
i do not agree with that statement, she knew who he was : Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”

23 Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”

24 Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”

25-26 “You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”